In the course of eight days, Syracuse’s men’s basketball team played the first three games of its final Big East campaign, winning them all – but not without some struggle.
On Jan. 2, in front of 27,165 in the Carrier Dome, the Orange beat Rutgers 78-63. Brandon Triche scored a season-high 25 points and Michael Carter-Williams notched his eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists.
Triche also connected on five of seven 3-pointers and added six assists and four steals. C.J. Fair contributed with a well-rounded performance of 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Senior James Southerland was SU's fourth participant in double figures scoring 11 points.
In doing so, head coach Jim Boeheim notched yet another milestone with career win no. 903, surpassing Bob Knight for the no. 2 spot on the all-time coaches’ win list, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
“To me, this game is not about numbers,” said Boeheim. “It's not about how many points you score or the assists you get. It's all about people you meet on the way. It's been an unbelievable experience.”
At least on this night, Boeheim proud of SU’s performance on its way to a 33rd straight home victory, the longest active streak in the nation. The Orange forced Rutgers into 10 turnovers in each half and outscored the Scarlet Knights 20-7 on fast breaks.
Eli Carter led Rutgers with 19 points, but Myles Mack who entered the contest averaging 14.5 points did not score after coming into the game leading the Big East at 51.2 percent from 3-point range.
The Scarlet Knights arrived with a five-game win streak and stayed competitive early. Triche and Carter unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers in the first six minutes, while Carter-Williams hit a 20-foot shot that gave SU the lead briefly, before Jerome Seagears swished in a 3 from the corner evening the score at 16.